We found Roxy, a golden retriever, in the newspaper. We drove out to Arlington (or beyond?) to select our new puppy from a family whose dogs made adorable golden retriever puppies. We paid a modest price since they weren’t technically pure bred, which we did not want anyway. When we got to choose our puppy, we sat in a room with six rolly polly fuzzy golden retriever puppies. If you ever have the chance to play with multiple golden retriever puppies at once, I recommend you take advantage of it. It was one of the most adorable moments of my life. We chose Roxy because of her calm disposition, her coloring (darker red), and her huge head. We immediately fell in love with that dog’s beautiful, giant square head.
On the way home, we threw out different names trying to come up with the perfect fit. Neal’s mom, who came along that day, suggested Roxy, and we instantly knew that this would be our new dog’s name.
Once home, we adjusted to the demands of a new puppy – the training, the chewing, the whining. Roxy was always a pretty good dog, though, with the exception of her odd obsession with gnawing the paint off of the bedroom walls. To this day, I never figured out how she managed to do that or why.
Over the past five years, Roxy was always happy, always goofy, and always ready for fun. She understood when I was upset and would let me snuggle with her when I needed it. She quickly grew from a fat floppy puppy into a giant of a dog. Weighing in at over 100 pounds, Roxy was a big girl. She would let me curl up next to her on the floor and use her as a pillow while watching television. Although large, Roxy was also gentle. She never once growled or snapped at either of my boys, who loved to chase her, pull her ears and tail, and generally cause her anxiety. I think Roxy’s only faults were her stubborn refusal to come in the house when commanded and her inability to recognize her own size and strength.
About a month ago, Neal decided to take Roxy to the vet because of a mild limp. Once there, the vet took an X-ray of her leg. She immediately knew that Roxy was sick. Really sick. She told Neal that Roxy had a huge tumor on her leg and had bone cancer. The vet said that tumor was so large that the cancer had probably already begun to metastasize in her lungs. She gave us the option to amputate the leg, but her chances of living another year were slim.
We decided that the best thing to do for Roxy was to euthanize her. This has to be one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made because she seemed so healthy. It was all just so sudden. But our main objective was to do what was best for Roxy and we both agreed that ending her life would be the best way to avoid her having to face any further pain.
On the Tuesday during my Spring Break, we put my Roxy-girl to sleep for good. It was one of the most horrible things I have witnessed, but I am relieved that she is no longer in pain. I now have the babies I so desperately wanted back in 2004, but Roxy, my girl who helped me get through the pain of losing my first baby, is gone forever. I miss her dearly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and cry just a little bit. Rest in peace, Roxy-girl. We miss you.